Excel Pivot Tables have heaps of calculations under the SHOW VALUES AS option and one that gets the most use is the DIFFERENCE FROM calculation.

You can show the values as the Difference From previous months, years, day etc.  This is just great when your boss asks you how you are tracking to the previous months, years, days…

Want to know How To Get Difference From with Excel Pivot Tables?

*** Watch our video and step by step guide below with free downloadable Excel workbook to practice ***

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In the example below I show you how to show the Difference From the previous month:


STEP 1: Insert a Pivot able by clicking on your data and going to Insert > Pivot Table > New Worksheet or Existing Worksheet


STEP 2: In the Rows you have to put the Months field, in the Column the Years field and in the Values area the Sales field twice, I explain why below:

pivottable fields

STEP 3: Now click on the second Sales field’s (Sum of SALES2) drop down and choose Value Field Settings

value field settings

STEP 4: Now you need to select the Show Values As tab and from the drop down choose the Difference From

difference from

STEP 5: You need to select the Base Item as (previous) and Base Field as Sales Month and press OK.  So it will read the “Difference from the previous Sales Month

diff from

STEP 6: You can do some cosmetic changes by going back into the Values Field Settings (from step 3) and changing the Custom Name to show whatever you like eg. Diff. From Previous Month or Monthly Variance.

From in here you can also click on the Number Format (bottom left hand corner) to change the way the numbers show:

pivot table2




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